How to fix classpnp.sys blue screen of death (BSOD)

Here is a situation… You’ve installed a new Windows 7 on older laptop and on first boot it resets or shows BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death). You tested hard disk, memory, everything was OK on previous system. What can be wrong?

classpnp.sys BSOD

There are many suggestions on forums about this or similar problem, with no solution. Well, here it is! I had similar problem with old Toshiba M40 laptop, which is intended to work with Windows XP, but my client tried to install Windows 7 and he couldn’t do it, so he brought it to my repair shop. Laptop passed all major tests (RAM, HDD, CPU), but it could not pass the first boot.

I had to pull out client’s hard disk, put it on other laptop and install system without any drivers. After placing HDD back to client’s laptop, first boot of Windows 7 (32 bit) was OK. I was waiting until it installed all drivers, and then tried to reboot. It could not boot Windows even in Safe mode. So, I had to load “Last known good configuration” and after loading system, I disabled all suspecting drivers (network, display, USB, audio, cardbus, camera, wifi, mass storage, but not hard disk controller because this is mandatory driver. Next boot was OK, so I had to find which driver is making problems.

It is very important to make System restore point when everything is OK, so you can revert changes if needed. After making restore point I’ve had enabled one driver and rebooted, repeated this until system could not boot. In my case, there was problem with Texas Instruments CardBus adapter.

In your case it could be some other driver that makes problem, so this is a procedure you should follow until you find unsupported driver that makes classpnp.sys blue screen of death.

Good luck!

 

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Reset wrong SMS count on Android phone

Many users of Android phones have seen the bug that phone shows a wrong SMS count and this can not be removed regularly. Removing SMS icon, cleaning with Cleaner, turning off and on did not help. There are also some programs that should be able to remove this bug, but on many phones the wrong number of SMS is still showing on the SMS icon, and this is very, I mean VERY irritating.

Well, I came to this solution on my Samsung Galaxy S3 android phone, and it is quite simple solution.

1. Turn off the phone.

Enter recovery mode on Android phone

2. Press Home, Volume Up and Power buttons until the phone powers on, then release it.

3. With Volume Up and Volume Down buttons point to the option Wipe cache partition and push Power button.

Wipe cache partition on Android phone

This will delete all cache and temporary files, but your data, contacts and pictures will be untouched, don’t worry.

4. Now point to “Reboot the system” (or Restart the system) and that’s it – you get rid of this annoyance of wrong number of SMS on Android phone!

For other Android phones, just find out how to enter Android Recovery Mode. Usually you just push Volume Up and Power for a few seconds and release after getting Android logo on screen.

How to take a screen shot on Android phone

Probably everyone needs from time to time to make a simple screen shot on Android phone, but it is not something obvious you can find out by yourself. And nobody reads a manuals. 🙂 So, here is a simple solution that should work on Samsung Galaxy S6 and older Android phones (Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3 – any phone that has a Home button).

At the same time press the Power and Home buttons and hold them for 1 second.

Make screenshot on Samsung Android phone

You will hear a shutter sound and see the visual confirmation that picture has been taken.

If you press a Home button just a little before Power button, it will close current screen, so you should first press Power and almost immediately press Home button.

If this does not work, try to press Power and Volume Down in the same time, for 2 seconds. If this is not working, well, you have a problem. 🙂 You can install programs from Play Store, but you have to Root your phone, and this is beyond this article.

When and how to charge Li-ion batteries

Li-ion batteryLithium-ion batteries can be found in most today’s gadgets and devices, from mobile phones to laptops. People just learned something about old Nickel-type batteries and now are using the same technique for Li-ion batteries. Well, this article will help you learn when it’s time to charge Li-ion battery and how to charge it to last as long as possible.

 

 

Charging Li-ion battery

When the Li-ion battery is brand new, it already has some charge in it, and people usually discharge it to zero, because that was the rule for old Ni-Cd or Ni-Mh batteries. Well, time’s changing, now just recharge a new Li-ion battery if it’s below 60%. There is no charge-discharge rule for this type of batteries! So, if you have a new mobile phone or laptop, just use it as you like, but try not to discharge it below 40% and don’t charge it to 100%.

Be aware that discharging Li-ion batteries to zero very often will drastically decrease it’s lifespan. Anyway, it is good to discharge battery to zero once a month, because it will recalibrate it and show more precisely it’s capacity on the mobile phone, tablet or laptop.

Here are some general rules for the best performance and durability of Lithium type batteries:

  • Do not discharge new Li-ion battery to zero at the first use, or this will shorten it’s lifespan.
  • Charge the battery when it drops below 60-80% for the best performance and durability.
  • If possible, turn off the device when it’s charging, it will charge the battery much better.
  • It’s the best to charge the battery between 60 and 80%.
  • Try not to charge the battery to 100%, as it will degrade it if you do this often.
  • Do not charge it at night – when finished charging, disconnect the charger!

Battery storage

If you don’t use the battery for a long time, charge it to 40% and leave it in a cold and dry place, at temperatures from 1 to 10°C if possible, as it will lose only 1-3 percent of its capacity in one year! At temperature up to 25°C, the battery can lose about 4-5% in the first year. If you keep it at 100% charge at 25°C, it will lose 20% capacity in just 3 months!

Conclusion

The batteries will last from 1 to 4 years, no matter how you use them, but there will be great difference in performance if you follow these suggestions. Feel free to discharge the phone to zero if you don’t have a charger, or charge it to 100% if you plan to go somewhere without charger. You can leave it charging at night if you can’t wait to disconnect the charger at 80%. Nothing will happen if you do this sometimes. Do not be a slave to the technology, use it the way you like, and little care about your devices will surely pay off in terms of it’s longer life and your budget.

 

Classic Start menu in Windows 8.1

I hate Windows 8 mostly becuse everything is messed up, especially Start menu which existed from the first version of Windows, and everyone used to use it. Windows 7 has all that we need, and one day smart guys from Microsoft decided that everyone will have to go buy their Surface tablet with Windows 8 on it. Well, they were wrong. People doesn’t like a new style theme in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 and wanted Start menu back! Now, we have a really nice choice of old style Start menu that’s look like classic Start menu of Windows 7.

Our favorite is IObit Start menu 8 because it is really simple, small and free program that does just what we need – repairing Windows 8 so people can actually start using it. This installation comes with some free programs, so if you don’t need them, just deselect it when installing this one.

Start menu Windows 8For more info and download you can visit IObit’s website: http://www.iobit.com/iobitstartmenu8.php . Enjoy!

 

SATA3 hard disk on SATA2 motherboard

SATA3 hard disk performs much slower on SATA2 motherboard, and I have just confirmed that in my little experiment. I took WD5000AAKX SATA3 hard disk and tested it on Asus M4N78 SE motherboard with SATA2 controller. Then I have measured time needed to copy a 700 MB simple DivX movie file. Antivirus and other programs were closed, test was repeated 5 times with different files to be sure that system was not caching it, and result was miserable 32.2 MB/s!

Actually, measured speed is for copying and writing to the same disk, no matter on which partition or part of a disk. Just reading files from hard disk to memory (RAM) is much faster, for example when you load a big file into Photoshop. Here is a picture taken with HD Tune Pro that shows disk reading only.

SATA3 disk limited with jumper to SATA2 speed

After that, I put a little jumper to pins 5 and 6 of hard disk WD5000AAKX, and measured again in the same enviroment. Results are much better – copying the same single large file  was at 41.2 MB/s, about 30% faster! Here is a graph.

SATA3 hard disk on SATA2 controller performs slower

This is the best you can get with this configuration, so I recommend buying a SATA3 PCI controller to achieve greater speed up. Better option is to change motherboard, but you’d have to change the processor (CPU) and memory (RAM), because newer boards support different types of CPU (for example AMD FM2) and a faster DDR3 type RAM.

If upgrading is not an option, just put jumper on hard disk and you will get 30% faster hard disk in no time, for free. You need to put jumper vertically to second column when looking from the power and data connectors. On WD disks these are pins 5 and 6.

SATA-2 jumper settings

Simple as that, enjoy speed and share the story!

Remove browser toolbars

If your browser looks like this one below, you really need to get rid of all that junk, and learn how to avoid them in the future.

Remove toolbars from Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome

What are those toolbars and how did you get them?

When you start installation of any program, you should carefully inspect any window that ask for your input, and watch for checkboxes with additional options. If you just click Next, Finish, it will probably install some junk programs that will make some damage to your system. Always choose Advanced options, because there are probably options for installing toolbars and other junk, hidden from main program installation. Toolbars are one of the most used addons to other programs, and probably the most annoying.

How to remove toolbars from Firefox, Internet Explorer or Chrome?

In Firefox find Tools, Addons, Extensions, and click Disable on the right side of any addon not needed. If you don’t know which of them are usefull, just disable them all, and later if you can not open something, find it here and enable. But you should leave enabled at least Java and Flash addon.

The similar is for all other browsers. Just find Options or Preferences, addons and remove them.

After that, you should restart Firefox / Internet Explorer or Chrome for changes to take effect.

If you need to change your search engine or home page, search for the following articles:

  • Change home page in browser
  • Change search engine in browser.

Update: Install free AdBlock plus!

We recommend installing a free addon for most browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer) called AdBlock Plus! This little tool will block 99% of annoying ads and pages, it is free and without any side effects. So, go to the product’s web page https://adblockplus.org/ and install it for free. And remember to support it if you like it, by little donation or just click on some ad.

How to speed up your netbook

You can speed up a slow netbook with some tricks. First, if it has single core CPU, install Windows XP and it will work much faster than Windows 7. Then, add more memory (RAM), at least 1GB for Windows XP and 2GB for Windows 7/8. If you have many active programs (bottom right), uninstall some you really don’t need, it will help much.

External hard disk caseHere is the best part. Netbooks are shipped with ordinary hard disk (HDD) installed, but you can pull it out and put a solid state disk (SSD) to get enormous speed up! The big SSD’s are expensive these days, but you can buy cheap 64 GB or at least 32 GB SSD. This is enough for system and common programs, to store some personal data, but not for much videos, music and pictures.

The system and programs require about 7 GB space for Windows XP and about 15 GB for Windows 7. The rest is enough for documents, some images, even for few DivX movies and music. But you can buy external 2.5 inch HDD case and put HDD from netbook into it, so you can carry all of your data, copy images from camera on your vacation, put many videos etc… You can use it only when you come back to hotel or whatever, so you don’t need to carry it all the time.

With this tips you can really use your netbook for traveling almost like your home laptop.

Webcam not working in Skype

Skype webcam problem

Skype video call not working

The newest is not always the best, and this is confirmed again with Skype. Many clients called us with the same video call problem – the webcam  is not working after updating Skype. Reinstalling did not help, so people had nothing to do but to bring us their computers. After inspecting this issue, reinstalling, cleaning system, we got the idea to install older version, and it worked! So, what was the problem? There must be a bug in new version of Skype so it can not see some types of webcams.

After installing old version of Skype, we were suggesting people not to update it for some time, until it is fixed. If you have the same problem with Skype not seeing web camera, install old version from this site:

http://www.oldversion.com/windows/skype-5-6-0-143 .

Update 11.01.2015 – Microsoft, shame on you!

Well guys, Skype video call is NOT WORKING any more on old CPU’s without SSE2 support! For example, if you have a AMD Athlon XP 2500+ CPU (without SSE2 support), you can’t have a webcam working, because Microsoft has blocked it, so people must buy a new computer with new Windows OS. If you want to install old version of Skype on which webcam was working, you can’t, because Skype rejects connection if the version is not 6.x.

So, if you have an old PC, you can’t use any webcam with Skype, not even high quality Logitech or Genius camera.

What are the Skype alternatives? You can use Viber as a much better solution both on computer and mobile phone. Really, this is too much, we are going to bury Skype and start using alternatives like Viber or Whatsup.

Skype CPU support

  • Intel Pentium 4, Xeon, Celeron, Pentium D, Celeron D, Pentium M, Celeron M
  • Intel Atom
  • VIA C7

Skype does not fully support AMD Athlon XP CPU’s, but you can use it just for audio conversations.

Please share and help others to resolve this issue. Thanks!

How to buy a good netbook

netbooksNetbooks are very popular these days, even compared to tablets, because they can do much more, it is easier to type and you can install all programs like at home computer. But how to choose the right netbook? It’s not that easy.

The netbooks are made so small (usually 10.1 inch display) to give you mobility while travelling, so they have not much space inside to put all that is needed to be good as ordinary 15.6 inch laptops. The main problem is speed. Most of them has some Atom CPU’s (low power Intel processors) with embedded Intel graphics, working at arround 1.6 GHz. This is really slow for everything except internet browsing and office. Even Youtube video stucks on slow CPU and graphics. You can not later add a faster CPU, so it is very important to choose a dual core CPU! On a single core processor, it is recommended to install Windows XP because it is much faster and resource friendlier than Windows 7 or Windows 8. The loading of Windows and programs depends on CPU speed and hard disk speed.

Display size

Next important thing about netbooks is display size. While most of them has 10.1 inch LED display with resolution of 1024×600 pixels, it is much better if you can buy a 11.6 inch with resolution 1366×768 pixels. With that size, even the keyboard is little bigger, display is pretty good and all graphics can fit on screen. This is very important, as you can work on netbook without much trouble with constant scrolling left-right and loosing buttons at bottom of program windows.

Big capacity battery

6-cell batteryBattery is also important, so choose netbook with 6-cell battery. The little larger size than netbook with 3-cell battery is compensated with almost double working time.

Ordinary netbooks can work about 2-3 hours with standard power settings. Bigger screens and faster processors eat more energy, so think about what is the most important for you. Furthermore, bigger battery raises netbook 1-2 cm from surface, enabling much better cooling.

Overheating

The netbook can get very hot and uncomfortable for use, you can even get skin burns. This is something you can not know until you try netbook, so if you have that option, use it at least 10 minutes with full CPU usage. For example, play some video and pack some big folder into ZIP. After 5-10 minutes, it will get as hot as possible and you can decide if you can use it or not. Never put netbook on some fabric because it can not suck cool air thru holes below, and it can burn motherboard and hard disk. Keep it good ventilated.

One more thing… using touch pad is not much comfortable, so take a wireless USB mouse with you.

See how to speed up your netbook.